Currently in his 22nd and final season in the NBA, Vince Carter recently moved up to number 19 on the NBA’s all-time scorers list.
His former high school AAU teammate, Tim Thomas, a retired 12-year NBA veteran recently checked in with me during a recent Twitter Live chat and discussed the good ‘ol days of basketball.
Check out our Q&A below:
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Brandon “Scoop” Robinson here at the NJHS Hoops Showcase Tournament named in your honor. This is the first year, correct? How did this come about?
Tim Thomas: Just wanted to do something different. You know, traveling around the world with this game of basketball, having two AAU programs both on the boys and the girls side, just seeing the style of play in different states, and just wanted to bring something different to the state of New Jersey. You know a lot of times we get caught up seeing the same teams over and over again, and I wanted to bring something different and give the schools and as well the players something different to look forward to, someone different to play against.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: What do you remember most about your high school playing days? You’ve been on the SCOOPBRADIO, I tell them all the time that you’re the Scoop B Radio professor in residence [laughs]…what do you remember holiday tournament wise, what do you remember playing?
Tim Thomas: You know the traveling, the big tournaments, the gym being full at 1 o’clock for a 7 o’clock game, traffic (especially at Patterson Catholic) our 7 o’clock games used to be full by like 4:00. We used to get out at 3:55 and out gym would be full by 4. It was already full for a 7:00 game. Just the traveling and the memories of playing the best of the best on the road. I mean there were some things that you look back to. Like the friendships, like myself and Jermaine O’Neal [Eau Claire HS], we created a great friendship and it’s still going. And it started back in high school competing against each other.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: You talk about the high school game and looking at it right now and the other day I was looking at the television, Kobe Bryant was at Trae Young’s game and Trae Young and Vince Carter are teammates. You played with Kobe and Vince Carter. Kobe’s retired, Vince is in his last year….
Tim Thomas: Vince should’ve been retired [laughs]… That’s my guy, he stays in great shape
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: What was it about Vince – let me take a step back, did you know that he had that ‘IT’ factor back then?
Tim Thomas: Oh yeah. Vince was doing the stuff that you guys see in the All-Star games and all that kind of stuff, he was doing that in high school. He was doing that when we were playing with the Playaz and the Pac Cats back in the day when we were selling out college arenas. We were beating people by 60 – 70 points. He was out there doin’ windmills and stuff. Me and Kobe and the guys used to look at him and say how is this guy even doing that? It was just amazing to us. I mean we grew up watching Dominique and the great dunkers. Jordan and guys like that, but to see one of your peers being able to be so athletic like that it was just unreal. Doin’ 360’s the opposite way and all kinds of stuff like that, the stuff that you guys see we were seeing that at an early early age Vince.